Mindfulness Mode

Pandemic Struggles Meet Mindfulness; Aria Campbell-Danesh and Seth Gillihan

November 11, 2020

Dr. Aria Campbell-Danesh is a doctor in clinical psychology and an expert in the fields of behavior change and long-term health. A mindfulness specialist and creator of the F.I.T. Method, he works internationally with clients on their mindset, exercise, and nutrition. Seth J. Gillihan is a clinical psychologist, best-selling author, podcast host, and creator of the Think Act Be Online School. He specializes in mindfulness-centered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Both of my guests are authors of the best-selling book, A Mindful Year: 365 Ways to Find Connection and the Sacred in Everyday Life (Blackstone Publishing).

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Effect on Emotions

  • Aria: I was once at a talk with the Dali Lama. I was going through clinical depression at the time, in my early 20s. Someone asked the Dali Lama, what would you do if you were depressed, as a Buddha? First, he laughed and said, I wouldn't know, I'm not depressed. Then he said something which resonated and stayed with me.
  • He said, your emotions are like the waves on an ocean … sometimes they're bigger and sometimes they're smaller. And they are always passing by. But deep below the waves, there's a calmness, a serenity; there's clarity and there's wisdom. And any point in time, you can often find waves of going deeper within, you can operate from that place.

Thoughts on Breathing

  • Seth: I would first set a specific time to practice because it's really easy to have an intention to do it but then other things will inevitably get in the way.
  • Then, start small with maybe a minute, or 3 minutes, or 5 minutes and just sit, notice the breath, be with those sensations, and know that meditation is not about making your thoughts stop. The more we try to do that actually, the more persistent the thoughts become. We just focus on the breath and then the mind will wander and will bring it right back.

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